Power Outage sees Grant Gustin’s The Flash (yes, we can now officially call him by that name) reduced to a mere mortal as a crazed, power-sapping, electricity-wielding villain unleashes his wrath on Central City, whilst Arrow’s Clock King (Robert Knepper) makes an appearance and causes chaos at the Central City Police Department, including holding both Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris West (Candice Patton) as hostages. Talk about bad timing, right?
Whilst the biggest selling point of The Flash is clearly seeing the titular hero racing around, cracking skulls and saving the day, Power Outage is a refreshing change of pace as, whilst we do see moments of Barry in full-on Flash mode, the episode delves deeper into the mere human element of the show. And by this, we mean that certain other elements of the show take centre-stage. For instance, the relationship between Barry Allen and Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is a fascinating facet of the show. With this latest episode, the difference in ideals of the pair is causing quite the tension between the two, as Wells’ endgame, at this stage at least, is to keep Barry Allen safe and well and parading as The Flash for many, many years to come. On the flip side of this, Barry is a hero; as such, he wants to help as many people as he can, often putting himself at risk to aide others. Barry is a warm individual with a good heart, whereas Wells’ is someone who we still have plenty of questions to be answered on. But at this point of the show, Wells can instantly switch to being cold and clinical as easy as he can stand up out of his wheelchair. Whatever is the endgame for the character’s season-long arc, Wells is definitely one of the most interesting, intriguing and engaging components of a show that is full of interesting characters and dynamics.
Whilst Wells could very well end up being a threat to The Flash at a later date, Power Outage sees three villains rear their heads. As mentioned earlier, there’s a crazy, electricity-sapping-and-zapping tragic villain in the form of Farooq Gibran (Michael Reventar), who many DC fans will recognise as Blackout. After an initial meeting with the relenting villain leaves The Flash without this super-speed, Barry and the S.T.A.R. Labs guys have to do all they can to reignite Barry Allen’s spark. Things aren’t helped any by the arrival of Farooq at S.T.A.R. Labs, with the now-powerless Barry having to relate to the reluctant villain in order to turn him off the idea of blitzing Harrison Wells, who he blames for his accident (yes, this is another result of the particle accelerator incident). Elsewhere, it’s nice to see the Clock King resurface in The CW’s Arrow/Flash shared universe. But when he takes a group of hostages that include Joe and Iris, at just the time that Barry is fighting off Farooq’s destruction at S.T.A.R. Labs, safe to say that the Clock King, as ever, has timed things perfectly. And so it’s down to Joe and Iris to fend for themselves without the imminent arrival of the Scarlet Speedster. Whilst over at S.T.A.R., Wells resorts to using one of his villainous pets (i.e., the super-powered criminals that he keeps housed up at S.T.A.R. Labs) to fight the Blackout fight for him. Much like The Arrow is going to be butting heads with The Flash soon enough, Power Outage sees a good old fashioned villain-off.
All in all, Power Outage delivers another solid episode for The Flash, with Harrison Wells’ arc particularly interesting. And away from the powers and the cool factor, the show took some time to address the solemn issue of all of those whose lives were taken or ruined during the particle accelerator’s issues. Wells has to bear the burden of that, and we see him discussing it for really the first time here. Thing is, whilst he comes across as very sincere and as troubled by all of this, you can still never be too convinced by the character at this stage. We all know he isn’t quite one of the good guys, but it remains to be seen how things play out for him over the season. Regardless, Tom Cavanagh exudes charisma and energy with the way he plays the character, much like how Jesse L. Martin does the same as Joe West.
Now Power Outage was definitely an enjoyable episode, but the issue of The Flash visiting Iris West so often is starting to get a little much for some of us here. The logic of it is understandable – as in he doesn’t want her championing the idea of The Flash and putting herself in danger – but the whole concept of standing next to Iris but with the sunlight conveniently blinding her at all times is a little much to take when it is seemingly happening in every single episode lately. This is a problem that Arrow had at times, but it soon realised to minimise these moments. Plus Oliver Queen has a badass hood that drapes over a lot of his face or at least projects a shadow over him. But this issue is merely a minor gripe in an otherwise excellent show. Now just tell us what Wells’ plans are, alright?! Although before anything becomes clear with Wells or a certain yellow blur for The Flash, he has the small issue of a crossover with sister-show Arrow up next. Consider us excited.
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